With the festive party season in full swing and holidays just around the corner, Chiropractors are urging everyone to take extra caution, to stay safe, injury-free and happy this Christmas. The best Christmas present you can yourself and family is; Your Health.
As much as we love this holiday and celebration period, it can sometimes take its toll on our body and mind and therefore also on our spine and nervous system. Whether it is overindulging in a bit too much Christmas pudding or wine, or lugging heavy Christmas presents around the shopping centre whilst stressing if you have everything organised in time for Christmas Day, or it’s a musculoskeletal injury from an intense run along the beach after months of inactivity, or low back pain from driving for long distances or lying poorly on the couch watching the Boxing Day Test, it can be a stressful time on the body and spine in many ways.
In order to enjoy a healthy and injury-free holiday, your Chiropractor is encouraging you to focus on your health, both physically and mentally.
Avoid sitting for long periods The holiday season can be a time where many Australians spend lying on the couch recovering from a large Christmas lunch or spent driving long distances to holiday destinations. Physical inactivity or low levels of physical activity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide¹. Avoid sitting in one spot for more than 30 minutes without a short break. Get up and move about for at least two minutes every 20-30 minutes. Regular changes in posture have been shown improve comfort and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Buy gifts that encourage physical activity This Christmas, rather than getting your kids an iPod, consider a present like a cricket bat or a netball that will encourage physical activity and ultimately leading to lifestyle choices in the long run. Active Healthy Kids Australia’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children has identified that worldwide, children’s fitness has been declining at the rate of 3% to 5% per decade since 1970, with Australian kids now in the bottom third of the world in fitness and inactivity. ²
Get active Getting a little more physical activity into your day doesn’t have to be a chore. Dust off the bicycles and go for a ride, plan a bushwalk or simply limit your couch time get up and get moving. If unsure what physical activity is right for you or your child’s age and experience, your Chiropractor can assess physical and motor development and suggest appropriate options.
Take it easy If doing things you don’t normally do, like your yearly renovations or gardening works, remember to take it easy and listen to your body for any warning signs that may indicate you have subluxations. Such as reduced range of motion, stiffness, pain or soreness, etc.
Don’t ignore your feelings Anxiety, depression and stress are very common during the festive season. Take some time out for yourself or your immediate family. Whether it is a hobby or a quiet getaway, take some time out and remember that stress can have a dramatic impact on your spinal health.
Get enough sleep Plan for some early nights as the ‘silly’ season can cause havoc with our sleeping routines. Not sleeping enough throws more than your circadian rhythm out of balance. It is the deeper part of the sleep cycle where the hormones necessary for healing are released.
- The Department of Health, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour : Research and Statistics, accessed at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-active-evidence.htm
- Report Card, Report Card on Physical Activity for Children, the Active Healthy Kids Australia, 2014